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2007 Ford Edge

A Reluctant Crossover

By Richard J. Newman
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The struggling No. 2 U.S. automaker needs the Edge to be a hit. A lot of people want the Edge to be a hit and for Ford to start recovering from a spate of lackluster offerings that have dimmed sales. Well, the Edge is a nice vehicle, comfortable and stylish, Ford's best crossover vehicle yet. But a hit? Sorry, no.

Inside, the Edge feels homey. Big cushy seats and a high perch create a sense of security. The cabin design is clean and modern. Dashboard controls, cupholders, and other conveniences are all within easy reach. The back seat is cozy for kids and adults alike, with a ride height that passengers enjoy.

That's the trucky part of this crossover, which Ford got right. But crossovers are a blend between car and truck, and the Edge lacks have the nimble road feel found in some of the best crossovers. The Toyota RAV4, for instance, is maneuverable and graceful in tight spaces. The Mazda CX-7 manages to be downright sporty.

The Edge, by contrast, feels a tad reluctant on the highway, with a gas pedal that wants to be muscled. Instead of gliding through curves, it's top heavy and grudging. On one bendy country road, I miscalculated and let the car get too far ahead of itself, figuring it would hold as tightly as the CX-7. Instead, the Edge rolled uncomfortably hard, and I had to work it back under control.

That's odd, because Ford owns part of Mazda, and the two crossovers debuted at nearly the same time. Yet the CX-7 handles much more adroitly. It's as if Ford can't let go of the Explorer genes and still wants to build a truck, even if it's called a crossover.

I still like the Edge. The styling is fresh, it's filled with air bags and all the other safety gear a family vehicle ought to have, and I felt pampered inside. But I wanted to like it more and ended up disappointed. Maybe once Ford is really sure that it's safe to depart from the SUVs that were its cash cow for more than a decade, it will build a world-class crossover. And regain the edge it once had.

Snapshot

 

2007 Ford EdgeNits: The heavy rear liftgate can be hard to pull closed.

G forces: The 265-horsepower V-6 engine is strong but not explosive. Handling is stable but heavier-feeling than other crossovers, with some body roll on curves. All-wheel drive is available.

Gizmology: The modern cabin is a high point, with electronic climate and audio controls, a helpful information screen, and lots of handy trays, nooks, and pockets for storage. And there are four power outlets, enough to handle most of the games and gadgets the typical family travels with.

Kidmarks: The rear seat pampers young riders with a middle armrest and cupholders, overhead reading lights, and back-of-the-seat pockets for their stuff. The rear seat folds flat in two sections with an easy one-step maneuver, handy when extra storage is needed.

Hot or not: Hot. The Edge looks tough and aggressive, with just enough truck showing in the high stance and vertical grille.

Pain at the pump: Modest. Mileage ranges from 17 mpg/city to 25 mpg/highway.

Crash course: The Edge hasn't yet been crash-tested by the federal government or private testing groups.

Standard safety gear: Advanced front air bags, side-impact air bags, side-curtain air bags, anti-lock brakes, stability control, traction control

Price points: Base prices range from $25,995 to $29,745. Price as tested: $36,710. (Prices include delivery fees.)

More info:www.fordvehicles.com/crossovers/edge/

 

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